Bureau of Spies: The Secret Connections Between Espionage and Journalism in Washington

Steven T. Usdin. Prometheus, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-63388476-2
The blurred boundaries between journalism, propaganda, and espionage are nothing new, as reporter Usdin (Engi- neering Communism) reveals in this series of stories about the spies and spin masters who have worked out of the National Press Club Building in Washington, D.C. The building opened in 1927, and the first known agent to operate out of its warren of offices—reporter and antifascist Robert S. Allen—began sending reports to the Lubyanka, headquarters of Soviet intelligence, in 1933. Following him, a colorful cast of Soviet spies, fascist operatives, and British and Japanese agents sent reports to overseas masters, disseminated untruths, and worked to start or prevent wars—while posing as legitimate journalists. Today, Usdin writes, “advances in technology have changed the tactics, but many aspects of the game endure. Governments and individuals continue to use press credentials as shields for espionage. The practice of spilling secrets in the hope that disclosures will change policies, and perhaps alter the course of history, has become routine.” Readers concerned about “fake news” will find this account instructive, and readers who love tales of strategy, deception, and indoor cigar smoking will enjoy the trip to the 20th-century National Press Club building. Photos. Agent: Kathi Paton, Kathi Paton Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/06/2018
Release date: 09/04/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 360 pages - 978-1-63388-477-9
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